Once you’ve optimized all your health metrics, outsourced all your chores to share economy work slaves, eliminated the need to even pick out your own clothes because an algorithm decides how to make you stylish, picked a date with your phone, and had a robot car drive you around, what’s next?
With so much of your life taken care of by a casino economy of tech and global indentured servants, what are you supposed to do? What purpose do you serve?
Do you think most people will use all this promised free time to do anything useful like reinvent Western Civilization or do you think they’ll argue about whether or not Carl is going to survive this season of The Walking Dead? For the record, I think he will.
We are quickly becoming a divided populace of a lazy aristocracy who can summon whatever bits of plastic they desire with a phone and an ever expanding horde of people who have been lied to about how the world works, but still seem to be able to summon plastic with their slightly less cool phones.
We celebrate the natural advantage of kids who are able to skip college to make billions off of us yelling at each other. We heap scorn on less bright kids who borrow against their future for worthless educations. Gen X people like me, who don’t fit in either of those buckets, tend towards self-paralyzing nihilism and cynicism because we aren’t that smart and there were still jobs that didn’t need degrees when we got out of high school.
I used to think Idiocracy was the most likely sci-fi story to come true. Lately I’m leaning towards Wall-E. Given the chance, I think more people than any of us would be comfortable with would choose to float around on a chair that feeds you.
Some people try to counteract this shit by dedicating themselves to developing antique skill sets. This is why we get people who retire at 30 to hand build wood furniture and ruin vintage motorcycles by turning them into cafe racers. These barbershop haircut twats always say they’re looking for something “real” or something “authentic.”
This is the first word consumer version of Civil War reenactment.
It’s not like I have any better ideas. If I had enough disposable income for a hobby, I’d be totally dedicated to equipping for massive civil unrest. Guns, dirt bikes, Jiu-Jitsu, axe-throwing, hunting, and beard-growing would be areas of focus. I like to think of this as personal apocalypse preparation. Mrs. Lott isn’t terribly interested, but I have selected a cool chain mail bikini and assault rifle for her if things get crazy over the next couple of years.
The thing about all that shit is it’s actually fun. I think that’s a concept that could actually work: expect and prepare for the worst, but have fun doing it.